ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Bhargavi V DavarSubscribe to Bhargavi V Davar

Legal Frameworks for and against People with Psychosocial Disabilities

People with mental illness were hitherto considered "non-persons", lacking recognition before the law, on any life dimension. The macro-environment within which the mental healthcare system, supported by the Mental Health Act 1987, still works is that of custodial law. However, in 2007, the government signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which shifts the policy gaze away from a medical model to a more encompassing social paradigm, where long-term impairment - physical, mental, sensory, or intellectual - combined with social barriers is understood to create disability. This paper critically analyses the provisions of the new Mental Health Bill, particularly on the question of patient consent, in light of the ratified convention.

Recovering from Psychosocial Traumas: The Place of Dargahs in Maharashtra

Dargahs have come under attack in recent times, following the tragic death of 25 mentally ill people at Erwadi in Tamil Nadu. The tragedy invited a Supreme Court suo motu intervention against local healing shrines all over the country that also included reform of the mental health system in general. This set of medico-legal events has led to the exclusive targeting of local healing shrines by various statutory agencies evoking human rights, ignoring the primary intent of the court that was reform of the mental health system in general. Against this context, we are presenting case studies of dargahs in Maharashtra which serve the purpose of healing from psychosocial traumas and argue for a more deliberate response to the vexed question of mental healing and overall health.

Mental Illness among Indian Women

Bhargavi V Davar Community surveys, done roughly between the 1970s and the 1990s, provide information on the socio-demographic profile of a mentally ill person in Indian communities. However, these studies do not treat the aspect of gender nor are there other independent studies on women and mental illness. In order to fill a noticeable lacuna in women's health studies, information about mental illness in Indian women has been obtained from the primary data available from these studies. As gender has been used as a socio-demographic variable in all the studies, it was possible to cull out gender relevant data and re-analyse them from the gender perspective. This work is a secondary analysis.
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